Mad Men Season 6: Don Draper Presents

DON DRAPER: Sorry I’m late.

Mad Men (Season 5)

PETE CAMPBELL: Don, this is Harold Guinzburg and George Oppenheimer from Viking Press.

DON: George, Harold.

HARRY CRANE: We were just starting.

DON: Don’t let me stop you. Peggy?

[PEGGY OLSEN and STAN RIZZO approach the easel and reveal the story boards.]

MM Presentation

PEGGY: All right. What we liked about The Orphanmaster is Jean Zimmerman’s ability to transport the reader across time. So we see a woman of today, she’s in a bikini, she approaches one of those big canvas folding chairs on a perfect white sand beach, she’s got her straw day bag full of her towel, her cigarettes, her suntan oil, her magazines—


GEORGE: Maybe not magazines…

HAROLD: We don’t want to promote the competition.

PEGGY: Fine. No magazines. She stretches out on the chair, it’s an ideal beach day, sunny, beautiful. She reaches into her bag and pulls out the paperback copy of The Orphanmaster.

O-Master P-Back Cover

STAN: Something happens when she opens up the book.

PEGGY: She hears strange voices, people speaking in Dutch, the clopping of horses, the creak of sails…


STAN: She’s startled and she closes the book, the sounds stop.

GEORGE: We love it.

PEGGY: Wait. She opens the book again, the voices start up again, whispers, snatches of phrases from the text itself.

STAN: A wind comes up.

PEGGY: A big whirlwind, like the one in The Wizard of Oz. Her chair starts to tremble and shake. She holds on for dear life. The wind lifts her up, still in her chair…


STAN: She flies up into the sky…

PEGGY: And lands with a thump on a street in 17th century New Amsterdam, Manhattan island. There are people on the street dressed as Puritans, there are Dutch sailors, there’s a baker blowing his horn to announce his bread is fresh out of the oven…

STAN: A pony cart going past…

PEGGY: And she’s there on her beach chair in her bikini. It’s a very arresting image.

DON: It’s what she dreams about. She’s been taken out of her world and swept up in another one.

PEGGY: And right in front of her is the man of her dreams, a handsome British spy…

GEORGE AND HAROLD (in unison, laughing): Drummond!


PEGGY [revealing a storyboard and giving the tag line]: The Orphanmaster. The perfect  beach read—when your beach is in 17th century Manhattan.

GEORGE: Harold?

HAROLD: All I can say is… wow.

HARRY CRANE: The media buy is across several different platforms, destination cable like AMC, FX, some network but precisely targeted, we’ll have a card on PBS, Masterpiece Theater, radio, print, a Times Square billboard…

ROGER STERLING [sticking his head in the door]: Oh, this is the book thing. You know, I read a book once. I didn’t like it. [Leaves.]

HAROLD: What was that?

DON: Don’t mind him.

GEORGE: This is all great.



HAROLD: Well, we were thinking…

DON: What?

GEORGE: It’s a woman.

PEGGY: Women buy books.

GEORGE: But the thing about The Orphanmaster, we are trying to get the message to men, too, that they’d enjoy this book. It’s a rip-roaring read.

DON [smoothly]: I read it, I liked it, my wife liked it, we were both up all night reading.


PEGGY: Fine, fine. What about, there’s a couple on the beach…

GEORGE: A woman and a man!

PEGGY: They’re both transported, the two of them together, swept up, deposited into that New Amsterdam street scene. They look at each other with this mix of amazement and delight.

GEORGE: Sensational. Harold?

HAROLD: I think we have a winner.

PETE: Great!


DON: I wish they were all this easy, but when you have a great product, this job can be a breeze.

HAROLD: More like a whirlwind!

[All laugh at the client’s lame joke.]



Filed under Publishing, The Orphanmaster

5 responses to “Mad Men Season 6: Don Draper Presents

  1. Fantasy is fantasy, no matter how real it may seem! Though sometimes dreams come true.


    Well, now I’m confused. I’d hoped that you were over the moon about the progress of a movie deal; but now I think you’re over the moon because MAD MEN will mention ORHANMASTERS in a Season Six episode… and I think you may have seen a script… ? I must find a way to catch up on Seasons One through FIVE, and I may try to catch the Season Six opener on Sunday.

  3. Lori

    I’ve never watched Mad Men. However, I do like your treatment, Jean! Maybe you should write the screenplay, complete with what you’ve written here. That would be amazing, witty, and a great lead in to a very serious movie. Then bookend it with a celebration party after the release of the movie.
    Just an idea …

  4. Mad Men has much less to do with the ’60s than it does with the sensibility of today, filtered through a different medium.

  5. Zimmerman Betty and Steve

    I Hate “Mad Men”.

    It has nothing to do with the advertising business in the 1960’s except for the clothes. I never saw a bottle of liquor in anyone’s office.


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